Race and the Internet - Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by TheBobcat, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. TheBobcat macrumors 6502

    TheBobcat

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    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    #1
    Hey, I gotta write this paper and I was wondering if I could possibly get some thoughts from you guys so I can quote some responses from a real internet community.

    Anyway, the subject is basically, how do we see race on the Internet? The book I'm reading basically suggests that we all assume each other to be a white male. If we ourself are not a white male, we assume the role of one hiding our true racial identity, since we feel we can be taken more seriously if we are seen as white.

    So, my question to you is,

    a) How perceive race of others online, if you do at all?

    b) Do you think it is true that others engage in identity tourism, and assume other racial or gender roles online? (en masse, not like perverts do)

    c) Do you believe it needs to be stated if you are nonwhite or female? In not stating you are female or minority, do you believe that you are just trying to be white?

    Thanks for any responses, if you don't want me to quote you (handle given as source) please state it in your post. Anyway, thanks a lot!

    Bobcat
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #2
    I haven't really thought about what race the other people are.

    I am sure that some people do, but I don't think that most people do.

    I don't think that it needs to be stated. I don't like it when anything asks for your race, as i see it as just encouraging racism.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #3
    I'm a moderator at a couple of RKBA websites, which means I read a helluva lot of threads and posts.

    I know we have about all ethnic groups repressented, and a fair number of ladies.

    a) I'm not sure I even think about that. I focus mostly on what's said. The message, not the messenger.

    b) No way to know, really, but I doubt it. Rather difficult for the great majority of people, I'd bet.

    c) I see no need whatsoever. Nobody's business but the one who posts, unless it might have to do with the credibility of statements. Even then, unless the writer has a long history at a website, there's no way to know about truthfulness.

    'Rat
     
  4. Agathon macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

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    Jan 19, 2004
    #4
    I don't really think about race. The majority of my contact online comes from playing World of Warcraft, and I know this will sound funny, but I am not alone in thinking that other people look like their avatars.

    An amusing exception is that I can't help but think that any adult female I talk to online is really nice looking.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    Penryn
    #5
    1. It's really not an issue for the most part, one's nationality, sexual identity, age and intelligence level are more important than skin color.

    2. Hmmm, it really depends. As Rat says, the longer a person is on a particular board, the easier it is to see if they are who they say they are. In general, I don't think there's any more attempt to change one's identity on the internet than there is in real life.

    3. It's funny, sometimes I'll assume a guy is female based on the style of his posts. It's my perception that's at play, not the other person's reality.
     
  6. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #6
    i don't really think about it at all unless "stupido" is the name of a "race" (i actually find the word "race" rather distasteful and not fitting to mankind .. perhaps "ethnicy" or "ethnic origin/background" is more correct)


    outside of online games and chats not really

    1. question: i don't think it needs to be stated.. but i'm sometimes still surprised to see girls in computer forums where i assume that more users are male ... not on macrumors since here it's not nearly as bad as elsewhere
    2. can't comment on that since i'm male, "white" (feels weird to write that) and my family, just like most others here, is catholic out of tradition
     
  7. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #7
    I'm on this page. Ethnicity adds flavor and nuance to any forum, and should be welcomed, accepted and celebrated without having to single out any one.

    I read a comment and respond based on its merit within the context, and do not consider whether the comment is by a male, female or their ethnicity. If someone chooses to reveal their ethnicity, it serves only to better help contextualize their comment, but the attention should be given to the content in a forum.
     
  8. TheBobcat thread starter macrumors 6502

    TheBobcat

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    East Lansing, Michigan
    #8
    Well, I just use race because that is what the author uses. Spefically the book is Cybertypes by Lisa Nakamura.

    Her assertion is mostly that the Internet does show race and is racist towards minorties. This is why minorities hide as white males and don't make their minority status known.

    I don't agree, but thats her assertion. Thanks for the responses, I plan to use a few as quotes in my paper. If you have any other thoughts about the subject I'd love to hear them, it is an interesting discussion.
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    LaLaLand, CA
    #9
    You're all amorphous blobs and disembodied voices to me. Even the ones I've met. Does that help?
     
  10. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    I have to agree on both of them. I often see nationality and ethnicty confused. When someone ask me what nationality I am I always say american, but I'm sure you meant what ethnicity.

    A) Admittingly/embarassingly when I was younger (freshman/sophomore year of highschool) the people I came into contact with that I did not personally know were through outlets like Asian Avenue, where you have to assume everyone's asian. Which then evolved into findapix/friendster/myspace where you always had an idea of what race/sex a person was. (Thats assuming everyone is honest)

    So it never came across to me to percieve people as a specific race or sex if I didn't have an idea of how they looked like already.

    B) Like someone said already, outside of online games or chats.. Not really. I think as humans we are for the most part past that stage of not talking someone seriously because of there race/sex, in regards to something they write. (For example way back in the day women had to go to write books/articles under male names to be taken seriously.)

    C) Usually those type's of things always say optional, and for some reason I always put Asian or Pacific islander (if they have that choice) and male.

    But no doubt, I do believe there are people out there that subconsciously think that all people online are male and white.

    I use to play an older mmorpg and I remember someone said to me, oh I thought you were white. Which is kind of understandable. Most of the players in that game were either Brazilian (mostly spoke broken english), from Singapore (always added stuff like liao, lah, lar, etc) and Caucasian. Obviously not a very popular game in the states.
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    I've never been to the Caucasus region of Europe. How did their Caucasian accented English sound :D
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #12
    a) How perceive race of others online, if you do at all?

    I tend to assume people are male unless they say otherwise, but I've never really thought about their ethnic origin. Unless it's someone I've met or seen a pic of I sort of imagine them as their avatar, which probably sounds a bit weird.

    b) Do you think it is true that others engage in identity tourism, and assume other racial or gender roles online? (en masse, not like perverts do)

    I'm an admin on another board where it's quite common for the occasional member to create multiple accounts all with different identities, and even carry out discussions with themselves. So from experience I'd say yes.

    c) Do you believe it needs to be stated if you are nonwhite or female? In not stating you are female or minority, do you believe that you are just trying to be white?

    Unless either of those aspects are in some way relevant to the discussion or to an argument the poster is making, I don't see what the point of mentioning them is.
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #13
    So a non-white will try to be seen as white in this hypothesis? But the book doesn't say the same about women trying to be seen as male? Why one and not the other?

    I don't really think about it unless they mention something about their race or culture and then I add it to my sense of that person. I guess that I start off thinking of people online as a blank canvas. The more I read of their thoughts, the more populated that canvas becomes. If they push their race/sex/nationality/hobbies/political or religious views regularly, I'm more likely to remember them than those who just post with generic views on hardware.

    Then again, I live in a pretty racially mixed area so colour/religion doesn't seem a particular big deal to me.

    Nope unless lots of gorgeous models as avatars counts as misleading.

    Not unless an assumption is being made that is wrong. Even with demi-goddess below my name, I've been called 'he' a few times but I suspect that's more to do with expecting guys on a tech board. I belong to another community which is predominately female where the few men around are often assumed to be women at first.

    If I don't state I'm a woman, no, I'm not trying to be white... or a male. I'm not sure that anyone confident in their sexuality or race would do so.
     
  14. Legolamb macrumors 6502a

    Legolamb

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    #14
    a) I never seem to think of race.
    b) I know that some people do, quite deliberately. When my daughter was about 10, she was on a moderated chat room and told me she had two "handles"; "Pretty baby" and "Dirty dog". When I asked here why, she said it was when she wanted to talk like a boy to other boys. And when I asked her how she knew who was a boy or a girl, she said, "well, the guys all start with 'hey' or 'yo' and the girls with 'hi'".
    c) Not really, unless it's affecting one's posting, usually in the Politics, Religion, Social Issues.
     
  15. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #15
    a) I don't...I try not to in my off-life, but then that starts to become more culture stuff

    b) I don't...I'm sure some people do...its a big place this internet.

    c) No, there are less white males online, so I'd guess it would be safer to guess your NOT a white male. Honestly its doesn't matter to me, if you know what you talking about, then join in
     
  16. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #16
    I usually think everyone is male. Sometimes the avatar makes me have a more precise guess. But you never know.:)

    The one thing that I usually detect is the form of writing. Afro-american people seem to have sometimes a different way of expressing themselves.

    But can't be certain about this, I am not American, so I don't know a lot about this forms of writing, etc.

    But I do think american people (or at least people that write in english) use to write more properly.
    I hate the people that write in spanish and of a 10 words sentence, 9 are bad words.

    I know this is kind of out of the main theme, but:
    What is the main perception that you (americans, etc) have of latin people?
     
  17. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #17
    A:I do not consider race to be a factor on or offline.

    B: It never occured to me that others may be assuming a false identity, but then I am perhaps not objective:confused: ; 6'1" 230 lbs, male, tan skin with blond hair. Makes me confused and sad if others aren't proud of their ethnicity or wish to hide it... I come from farming stock... settlers in Kansas before it was Kansas bred me... a little cherokee in there somewhere.:p The Puerto Ricans here in Florida flaunt their nationality with pride and I cherish our diverse culture. America is the true melting pot.:cool: Last weekend was India Fest at Wicham Park. There are a few rednecks 'round these parts, tho.

    C:The only thing that needs to be stated imop is the truth as we each see it, any culture shared is just the plus of being part of a community that has no borders or prejudices except against pc's and M$.:D Hopefully everyone will think this way someday, but I would avoid a forum where everyone was just like me or trying to act just like me.:eek:
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #18
    Roco, I think opinions vary quite a lot. I live on the Tex-Mex border. I guess it's fair to say that I'm generally negative toward Latin-country governments, but the societal mores are generally okay by me. The people? I judge pretty much on an individual basis. Many good, a few bad. About like most other sorts of countries. FWIW, I've lived in or travelled extensively through some twenty countries in Asia and Europe.

    'Rat
     

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